Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Cambodia, Bayon Temple, Siem Reap

Of all the temples I have visited in Siem Reap, more than a dozen of them, Bayon Temple is truly unique and quite impressive due to its hundreds of stone-carved Buddha faces that jut out from its towers.

Those carved serene gigantic faces are simply astounding. This temple serves as great testament of Khmer Empire devotion to Buddhist religion during late 12th century. However, there is a theory that all those 216 serene stone faces belongs to Angkor's greatest King, Jayavarman VII, the reigning Khmer King at that time due to their similarities to his other surviving statues. Nevertheless, Buddha or not Buddha, one will be in awe due to stunning workmanship employed in carving all those similar stone faces.

Bayon temple is located at the center of Angkor Thom (the great city), a walled-city with several gates aligned in Earth's axis and used to be the capital of Khmer Empire in the 13th century. Hence, as an added treat when you visit this temple is the chance to explore nearby places of interest such as Baphoun temple, Phimeanakas, Terrace of the Elephant, Terrace of the Leper King, among others.

Since this temple is one of the most visited temples in Angkor, I saw a group of locals dressed as Apsara dancers offering photoshoot opportunity for a token amount. Actually they call it donation.

If there are other temples aside from Angkor Wat worth visiting for a single day unlimited temple pass, Bayon temple is one of them.

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